This is based off of Shelumiel at Bookish & Awesome’s Copying Is Not Always A Bad Thing, and Neil Gaiman’s speech to 2012 graduates from the University of the arts in Philadeplhia, which is a great listen for creators in all types of artistic endeavours.
Shelumiel’s concluding prompt of this lovely discussion was, “Who are your influences?” in regards to finding your voice in your creative process. Looks like I’m about to get real with you, today.
This blog, in itself, is an art project. I do have a few—precisely five, if we’re going to be real—favorite blogs, and although I do like their style, I do not take from them. I couldn’t compare myself to them, nor would I, because I’m just winging this thing. I have no idea what I’m doing, and that is okay. The point of this project is to create, simply enough. It is like a blank canvas which as the time passes has more layers added to it to make the overall creation. This is my voice sending ripples into a small pond. The entire point, and I’ll say itagain, is to keep on creating, writing what I fear to write; breaking the barriers in my mind of what I think I cannot do. “We must do what we think we cannot.”-Eleanor Roosevelt.
I went into this not knowing the rules of what the successful have deemed as the rules. Because as Gaiman said, the rules will keep you from doing something because you know there is a limit. But if you do not know the rules, then there is no limit until you find your own limit (not a direct quotation). I do not start an abstract work knowing how it will end; I start it knowing I want to scream something. I do not buy a t-shirt because I think my friends will find it charming because in the end…the thoughts of other people are screams into a void. Nothing they say or think will ever be able to dictate what you become unless you decide it is so. That is the power we have. One does not go to an art museum because it will sound deep when one recounts their day or to look at pretty things, one goes to find a personal meaning in another;’s creation. To widen their perspective on what they have already known.
So if I’m wondering how I should adjust something or what platform I should create something, I’ll ask, I’ll look it up. The purpose of this, though, is to explore ity for myself, find my own truths, and my own rules, whatever those may be.
The purpose is to make good art. I was stressed out, I needed a new project so I made one. In Neil Gaiman’s speech, he says that when things go wrong (and even when they’re going right), you should make good art, make up your own rules, break some of them; and don’t accept projects or offers that have prestige that will lead you away from your creative goals. This is powerful, and something I needed to hear.
I feel like lately I have forgotten where I came from, so to speak. My mind—for a few seconds—started to slowly wander to others’ views of success when it comes to blogging; and so Miel’s post and Gaiman’s speech were quite timely. They reminded me of the purpose of the site you are staring at right now.
I do not make posts thinking of whether you’ll like them, or even view them..and I don’t want to. Because I may not immediately, or even months from now, even years from now have the vision of blogging “success”, but like Gaiman said at least I have the work. And like Sylvia Plath once said, the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. I am jubilant when you find a positive interpretation in the work, surely being a human, when you comment your witty comments, your overwhelmingly nice comments, when you visit silently before moving on with your day, and when you like….but that’s beside the point of creating these posts. The point of this project is to grow, embrace fears and make. good. art. And as the artist, that should never change.
Here are some of my top favorites, and why:
- Epic Reads: I find most of my greatest reads here, I enjoy their videos, interaction and creative lists.
- Paper Fury: The originality after four years is astounding. I love the original voice, content, and humor of this blog.
- Thoughts and Afterthoughts: The humor and intelligence in these posts and the RANTS/DISCUSSIONS make my day every time I read a new post. (I say I love this blog all the time, so is it really a surprise that it’s on the list?)
- Deadly Darlings: The voice of the main creator (Aimee) is YES, along with the discussion posts from Aimee, her co-blogger CJ, and any post really from her co-blogger Sara.
- Bookish and Awesome: I’m a sucker for good art. Enough said.